Barter Theatre launches fundraising drive, needs $500,000 before end of the year


ABINGDON, VA (WJHL)- The Barter Theatre in Abingdon. Virginia is launching a fundraising drive to address revenue shortfalls. 

The Barter Theatre is one of the nations longest running professional theatres. 

It is home to famous actors like Gregory Peck from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. 

Recently, Barter has seen a 16 percent drop in attendance equating to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in revenue. 

Barter Theatres Producing Artistic Director, Richard Rose, says they need to raise that money by the end of the year. 

Theatre leaders have already made changes to out expenses by more than $250,000, but Rose says that’s not going to be enough. 

He says ticket sales have declined in the past couple months with their summer production of Shrek. 

“We’ve seen about a 16 percent drop in tourist this summer, and we’ve also saw a real downturn in particular Shrek. Shrek just hasn’t performed at the level it should. We want to raise about 500,000 dollars overall and that’s just part of our annual fund and part of what we need to cover the shortfall for the summer season,” said Rose. 

Sixty-five percent of the theatre’s income comes from ticket sales. The rest comes from endowments and state funding. 

Rose says that state funding however only equates to about $62,000 a year. 
The public can help the Barter Theatre in several different ways. 

The first is buying tickets to upcoming events like the fall and Christmas production.  Second, any contributions to the Barters annual fund. Lastly, Rose is encouraging people to just donate to the theatre.

The Barter Theatre opened in 1933 during the Great Depression, meaning its been in Abingdon for 86 years. 

The theatre is hoping to be open for 86 more. 

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